Unemployment is damaging to individuals, families, and society. Governments around the world have attempted to mitigate these harms, in some countries through generous out-of-work benefits, targeted retraining services for job seekers, and disincentives for employers to lay workers off in the first place. But why is unemployment so persistent in capitalist societies? What does it mean for an individual to be unemployed? What can the US learn from other countries to better combat unemployment and reduce its socially damaging effects? Students will work with community partners to assist the unemployed or conduct policy-relevant research.